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Debris From Washington, IL Found Over 100 Miles Away

Damage reports are still coming in after yesterday's day of rough weather in the Midwest. ABC News reports besides the six people who were killed as the swarm of tornadoes swept through Illinois, officials in Michigan say two more died in that state. The most violent storm may have touched down in the town of Washington, Illinois, 140 miles west of Chicago. As many as 500 homes were destroyed by an EF-4 tornado packing winds of 170 to 190 miles per hour.   Meanwhile the tornado that ripped through Washington, Illinois, threw debris more than 100 miles away.  Ann Ortman lives in Shorewood, Illinois, and was picking up tree branches in her yard when she came across a piece of paper... "I unfolded this piece of paper, and it was actually a check dated December 18, 1994. And it was from someone that lives in Washington, Illinois." Ortman lives about 110 miles away. She says she hopes the owner of the check is okay. She would like to return the check. ...

 

Man Arrested for Interfering During Pine Twp Fire

porter co sheriff dept
Several fire departments were called out at approximately 5:17 this morning to a residential fire in the 600 block of East Old Chicago Road, in Pine Township, in far northeast Porter County. Sgt. Larry LaFlower, of the Porter County Sheriff's Office, reports 40 year old Christopher Battishill was arrested and charged for actively interfering with firemen who were trying to extinguish the blaze. LaFlower says the cause of the fire remains under investigation, as does any alleged involvement on the part of Battishill, who also had an outstanding warrant for failure to comply with probation. New charges could be forthcoming once an investigation is complete....
 

Neighborhood Evacuated, School Locked Down for Gas Leak

1 breaking-news
Officials in East Chicago say firefighters have evacuated residents near 145th Street and Baring Avenue due to a gas leak after a main was struck around noon today. As precaution, Benjamin Harrison Elementary was locked down and no injuries have been reported. No further information is available at this time....

 

Porter County Compost Sites to Close 11/28-12/1

Porter County's Boone Grove and Valparaiso compost site will be closed for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day Holiday. Donna Stuckert, with the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County, says both sites will be closed Thursday, November 28th through Sunday, December 1st and will reopen Monday, December 2nd through Saturday, December 7th, after which both sites close for the season.
Until then, Stuckert says they encourage Porter County residents to bring in their organic yard waste, such as leaves, brush, garden and household plants, limbs, logs and firewood and live fall decorations like pumpkins, gourds, corn and mums, to the compost sites where it will be incorporated into the windrows which is used to create large amounts of finished compost and mulch.
No treated wood or lumber of any kind are accepted at either site and grass is only accepted at the Boone Grove location. Residents are also asked to remove plastic bags and other containers when dropping off materials. For more information visit http://www.itmeanstheworld.org/ or click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/...
 

Gas Leak Reported in East Chicago Around 145th St

1 breaking-news
The cause of a gas leak reported around 145th Street in East Chicago is unknown at this time. NIPSCO crews reportedly arrived at the scene around noon and the surrounding two-blocks around 145th and Barring Avenue are closed as a result. At last check no injuries and no evacuation had been been reported. ...

 

Final Open House on Illiana Expressway Tomorrow

The final open house regarding the proposed Illiana Expressway takes place tomorrow in Michigan City. You are invited to stop by and give your input at Michigan City City Hall, from 2pm to 4pm. Next month, NIRPC is scheduled to vote on whether to include Illiana in their 2040 Comprehensive plan, a necessary step to move the project forward for federal funding. Meanwhile the state of Indiana has issued an official call for investors for the Hoosier stretch of the proposed Illiana Expressway, which would connect I-65 from south Lake County to I-55 in Illinois. For more information visit http://www.nirpc.org/illiana-expressway-project.aspx...
 

Hoosiers Can Report Storm Damage Online

From the Indiana Department of Homeland Security:
Hoosiers who sustained damage caused by severe weather on November 17 can report damage online at: https://myoracle.in.gov/hs/damage/ia-public.do?method=active&incidentId=IA20131118083856
A link to the form is also available on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) website at in.gov/dhs . In the middle of the page under "Featured Topics," click on "Report Damage from Severe Weather - November 17"
Individuals will be asked to provide their name, address, phone number and type of damage the property sustained. Losses can include structural damage to homes and loss of personal property.
FOR QUESTIONS
For questions, contact your county emergency management agency. Local agency's contact information is available at http://www.in.gov/dhs/2797.htm
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS
Individuals without Internet access are encouraged to contact a friend, family member or neighbor for assistance. Web access is also available at many libraries, religious institutions, community centers or other public facilities. If none of those options are available, individuals may also contact their county emergency management agency to report damage.
THIS REPORT IS NOT AN APPLICATION FOR ANY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
This is NOT an application for a grant with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Information will be used to help local emergency management agencies and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security preliminarily assess damage to determine if federal assistance can be pursued....
 

Two Injured in Recent Tree Stand Falls

Indiana Conservation Officers say the state has had eleven falls from tree stands resulting in serious injuries this year. Two tree stand accidents have occurred in the past few days in northern Indiana. Officers say a 53-year-old deer hunter in the Hebron area who wanted to change the location of his stand from one area to another fell over fourteen feet to the ground and suffered a leg and shoulder injury. In Marshall County Sunday morning, authorities say a 54-year-old man was deer hunting from an elevated tree stand when the stand broke sending the man crashing 24 feet to the ground. Law enforcement officials say the stand had been left in the tree for several years. The man was airlifted to a South Bend hospital for serious injuries to his spine. Conservation officers say neither man was wearing a safety harness.   Conservation Officers remind all hunters inspect their equipment regularly and that the use of a Fall Arrest System (FAS) while hunting from elevated positions greatly reduces the risk of serious injury from falling.

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Governor Pence to Tour Storm Damage

Governor Mike Pence today will tour Indiana communities hit by severe storms Sunday.  Stops include Kokomo, Logansport, Lafayette, and Washington.  The National Weather Service is sending out survey teams to areas of significant damage in northern Indiana and elsewhere in the state to assess whether damage was caused by tornadoes or straight-line winds during thunderstorms....
 

Road Closed in Cedar Lake Near Middle School

Traffic-Advisory
Cedar Lake Police Chief Jerry Smith says 141st Ave is closed between US 41 and the new Middle School.  Parents and buses can still access the middle school on 141st Ave from Parrish Avenue.
...
 

Power Outage Closes Two Schools

Duneland School officials say Brummitt Elementary School and Jackson Elementary School are closed due to no power today (Monday November 18 2013)....
   

Six Dead in Illinois After Violent Weather

Severe thunderstorms accompanied by more than eighty tornadoes swept across the Midwest Sunday.  Violent storms normally associated with springtime struck a week-and-a-half before Thanksgiving. Six people were killed. The strongest tornado in southern Illinois had winds up to 200 miles per hour. In Pekin, Illinois about 130 homes were damaged, and about 40 of them were destroyed.
In Chicago, storms interrupted the Bears-Ravens game.  At Soldier Field, the heavy downpour and violent winds caught 60 thousand people in the stands. With lightning striking nearby, officials made a call on the field.  The game was delayed about two hours as fans packed into the concourse area of the stadium for safety.   

The strongest tornado in southern Illinois had winds up to 200 miles per hour. In Pekin, Illinois about 130 homes were damaged - and about 40 of them were destroyed.
In the town of Washington, Illinois, blocks have been flattened, left unrecognizable by storm damage.

Immediately following the second wave of storms, blue sky, then sun, and  a double rainbow. The storm left behind hour long delays at O'Hare....
   

Cleanup Continues After Severe Weather

A strong storm system knocked down trees and utility poles around northwest Indiana Sunday, and knocked out power to tens of thousands in the Region. A roof was blown off a home at Lakes of the Four Seasons, and we had word of a 40 foot pine tree uprooted in the 2100 block of Crockett Avenue in Valparaiso. A barn was reported destroyed on Morse Street in Lowell. There were no reports of injuries there.
Northern Indiana Public Service company says initial assessments indicate storm damage includes three damaged transmission towers, more than 120 broken poles, numerous downed lines and broken cross arms and hundreds of downed trees and limbs. NIPSCO says more than 75-thousand customers were affected; as of 5am, that number was down to about 12-thousand across their service territory, with about 23-hundred in the Lowell area and about a-thousand in the Valparaiso area.
All available NIPSCO field personnel were working overnight Sunday night into Monday morning to access damage to the electric system and restore power to customers. While NIPSCO crews will be working around the clock to safely return service to affected customers, the utility company says it will be late Monday afternoon before solid estimated restoration times for areas with the most system damage will be completed and it may be multiple days before all customers are restored.
KV REMC says approximately 870 members remain without power this morning.  At the peak of the storm Sunday evening,over 5,000 members were without power.  Crews continue to work through the service territory making repairs to the system and in most cases replacing the many broken poles. Tree trimming contractors also continue to assist in the removal of tree debris allowing for our crews to work safely in the harder hit areas....
   

Structure Fire in Pine Township

Breaking News
In Pine Township this morning, the fire department has reportedly struck a first alarm for a residential fire on Old Chicago Road, unconfirmed reports the structure was fully involved. Crews responded at about 5:15 am....
   

Police: Stay Away from Downed Lines

downed lines
Indiana State Police are urging Hoosier motorists to stay away from downed power lines. Nearly 50,000 people are without power in Northwest Indiana alone, and many others are without power across the state after severe storms today.  [Photo/Indiana State Police, Public Information Offce]...
   

Power Outages Top 46,000, High Winds Still Possible

Emergency management officials are currently reporting no injuries after a tornado struck part of far southeastern Newton County early Sunday afternoon, according to a report to the National Weather Service in Chicago. There is damage to grain bins, and what was described as minor structural damage to homes in the town of Goodland. Utility poles and trees are down. Officials say the tornado touched down near US 24 and Newton Street.
Utility pole and tree damage is being seen around Northwest Indiana. In Chesterton, a trained spotter reported winds measuring 80 miles-per-hour, with large limbs and power lines down.
As of 4 pm CST today, over 42-thousand NIPSCO customers have lost power, including over 9,700 in the Valparaiso area, 4,700 in Portage, 4,500 in Lowell, 2,500 in Michigan City, 2,100 in East Chicago, over 2,000 across Hammond and Highland, 1,700 in Chesterton, 1,400 in Munster, 1,200 in Gary, and 1,100 in Merrillville.
As storms traveled through the KV REMC service territory, widespread outages have resulted in over 4,100 members without power.
Region residents are urged to stay clear of all downed power lines.
www.nipsco.com
http://www.kvremc.com/home.aspx...

   

Storm Damage in Region, 28,000 Without Power

65
The Region News Team received a report of at least eight power poles down in the area of the I-65/US 231 interchange in Crown Point, along an earlier report of lines down on the interstate and US 231. [Photo/Indiana Department of Transportation camera]
At 2:27pm: INDOT reports:
The ramp of northbound I-65 is closed near US 231 due to a traffic hazard. Seek alternate routes as you travel northbound on I-65 near mile 247.
The ramp of southbound I-65 is closed near US 231 due to a traffic hazard. Seek alternate routes as you travel southbound on I-65 near mile 247.
We are receviing multiple reports of trees and lines and power poles down across the Region. 
Other reports from tipsters into the newsroom:
Left lane of southbound I-65 closed at US 30 due to a crash.
Trees, lines were blocking entrance to Lakes of the Four Seasons
Tree down on Vale Park Rd in Valparaiso just west of State Road 49 in front of The Masters apartment complex earlier (134pm cst)
As of 2:35 pm, NIPSCO was reporting over 28-thousand customers without power....
   

Spotter Confirmed Tornado Near Frankfort Illinois

From National Weather Service Chicago:
SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL 1253 PM CST SUN NOV 17 2013 ILC031-197-INC089-171930- /O.CON.KLOT.TO.W.0018.000000T0000Z-131117T1930Z/ WILL IL-COOK IL-LAKE IN- 1253 PM CST SUN NOV 17 2013 ...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR NORTHERN LAKE... SOUTHEASTERN COOK AND CENTRAL WILL COUNTIES UNTIL 130 PM CST... AT 1251 PM CST...A CONFIRMED TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR FRANKFORT...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 60 MPH. HAZARD...DAMAGING TORNADO AND GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL. SOURCE...WEATHER SPOTTERS CONFIRMED TORNADO. IMPACT...MOBILE HOMES WILL BE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. DAMAGE TO ROOFS...WINDOWS AND VEHICLES WILL OCCUR. FLYING DEBRIS WILL BE DEADLY TO PEOPLE AND ANIMALS. TREE DAMAGE IS LIKELY. THIS TORNADIC STORM WILL BE NEAR... HARVEY AND PHOENIX AROUND 100 PM CST. DOLTON AND BURNHAM AROUND 105 PM CST. WHITING AND EAST CHICAGO AROUND 110 PM CST. OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE EAST HAZEL CREST AND RIVERDALE. THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF CHICAGO. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... TO REPEAT...A TORNADO IS ON THE GROUND. TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS....
   

Tornado Warning Issued

From the National Weather Service Chicago:  http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/
TORNADO WARNING ILC031-197-INC089-171930- /O.NEW.KLOT.TO.W.0018.131117T1846Z-131117T1930Z/ BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED TORNADO WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL 1246 PM CST SUN NOV 17 2013 THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A * TORNADO WARNING FOR... SOUTHEASTERN COOK COUNTY IN NORTHEAST ILLINOIS... EAST CENTRAL WILL COUNTY IN NORTHEAST ILLINOIS... NORTHERN LAKE COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... * UNTIL 130 PM CST *
AT 1240 PM CST...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR MANHATTAN...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 60 MPH.
HAZARD...TORNADO. SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED ROTATION. IMPACT...MOBILE HOMES WILL BE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. DAMAGE TO ROOFS...WINDOWS AND VEHICLES WILL OCCUR. FLYING DEBRIS WILL BE DEADLY TO PEOPLE AND ANIMALS. TREE DAMAGE IS LIKELY.
* THIS DANGEROUS STORM WILL BE NEAR... FRANKFORT AND MONEE AROUND 1250 PM CST. OLYMPIA FIELDS AND RICHTON PARK AROUND 1255 PM CST. GLENWOOD AND FLOSSMOOR AROUND 100 PM CST. CALUMET CITY AND LANSING AROUND 105 PM CST. HAMMOND AND EAST CHICAGO AROUND 110 PM CST. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS....
   

Severe Thunderstorms Heading Toward Soldier Field

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for... Cook county in northeast illinois... North central will county in northeast illinois... Extreme northwestern lake county in northwest indiana... * until 115 pm cst * .  Soldier Field is in the path of these storms.  
National Weather Service Chicago: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/
More info from the National Weather Service Chicago:
at 1224 pm cst...SEVERE Thunderstorms were located along a line extending from montrose harbor to forest view to willow springs... And moving east at 30 mph. Hazard...QUARTER Size hail and 60 mph wind gusts. Source...RADAR Indicated. Impact...HAIL Damage to vehicles is expected. Expect wind damage to roofs...SIDING And trees.
* severe thunderstorms will be near... Worth and oak lawn around 1235 pm cst. Midlothian and evergreen park around 1240 pm cst. Posen and merrionette park around 1245 pm cst. Chatham around 1250 pm cst. Burnham around 100 pm cst. Whiting around 105 pm cst. Other locations in the warning include palos heights...HOMETOWN... Robbins...CALUMET Park...RIVERDALE And south chicago. This includes the city of chicago.
Soldier field is in the path of these storms...EVERYONE At soldier field needs to take shelter immediately and should prepare for dangerous weather conditions! Precautionary/preparedness actions... A tornado watch remains in effect for the warned area. Tornadoes can develop quickly from severe thunderstorms. Although one is not immediately likely...IF A tornado is spotted...ACT Quickly and move to a place of safety inside a sturdy structure...SUCH As a basement or small interior room. ...
   

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LAURA WALUSZKO
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KARL BERNER
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